Sunday 18 September 2016

Leading judgment on grant of exparte temporary injunction

What are the guiding principles in relation to the grant of an ad interim injunction in such areas of the functioning of the capital market and public issues of the corporate sector and whether certain 'venue restriction clauses' would require to be evolved.judicially as has been done in cases such as Sanchaita case I etc. ?
36. As a principle, ex parte injunction could be granted only under exceptional circumstances. The factors which should weigh with the court in the grant of ex parte injunction are-
(a) whether irreparable or serious mischief will ensue to the plaintiff;
(b) whether the refusal of ex parte injunction would involve greater injustice than the grant of it would involve;

(c) the court will also consider the time at which the plaintiff first had notice of the act complained so that the making of improper order against a party in his absence is prevented;
(d) the court will consider whether the plaintiff had acquiesced for sometime and in such circumstances it will not grant ex parte injunction;
(e) the court would expect a party applying for ex parte injunction to show utmost good faith in making the application.
(f) even if granted, the ex parte injunction would be for a limited period of time.
(g) General principles like prima facie case balance of convenience and irreparable loss would also be considered by the court.
37. In United Commercial Bank v. Batik of India5, this Court observed: (SCC pp. 787-88, paras 52-53) "No injunction could be granted under Order 39, Rules 1 and 2 of the Code unless the plaintiffs establish that they had a prima facie case, meaning thereby that there was a bona fide contention between the parties or a serious question to be tried. The question that must necessarily arise is whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, there is a prima facie case and, if so, as between whom? In view of the legal principles applicable, it is difficult for us to say on tile material on record that the plaintiffs have a prima facie case. It cannot be disputed that if the suit were to be brought by the Bank of India, the High Court would not have granted any injunction as it was bound by the terms of the contract. What could not be done directly cannot be achieved indirectly in a suit brought by the plaintiffs.

38. This Court had occasion to emphasise the need to give reasons before passing ex parte orders of injunction. In Shiv Kumar Chadha v. 5 (1981) 2 SCC 766 Municipal Corpn. of Delhi6, it is stated as under: (SCC pp. 176-77, paras 34-35) "... the court shall 'record the reasons' why an ex parte order of injunction was being passed in the facts and circumstances of a particular case. In this background, the requirement for recording the reasons for grant of ex parte injunction, cannot be held to be a mere formality. This requirement is consistent with the principle, that a party to a suit, who is being restrained from exercising a right which such party claims to exercise either under a statute or under the common law, must be informed why instead of following the requirement of Rule '1, the procedure prescribed under the proviso has been followed. The party which invokes the Jurisdiction of the court for grant of an order of restrain against a party, without affording an opportunity to him of being heard, must satisfy the court about the gravity of the situation and court has to consider briefly these factors in the ex parte order. We are quite conscious of the fact that there are other statutes which contain similar provisions requiring the court or the authority concerned to record reasons before exercising power vested in them. In respect of some of such provisions it has been held that they are required to be complied with but non-compliance therewith will not vitiate the order so passed. But same cannot be said in respect of the proviso to Rule 3 of Order 39. The Parliament has prescribed a particular procedure for passing of an order of injunction without notice to the other side, under exceptional circumstances. Such ex parte orders have far-reaching effect, as such a condition has been imposed that court must record reasons before passing such order. If it is held that the compliance with the proviso aforesaid is optional and no t obligatory, then the introduction of the proviso by the Parliament shall be a futile exercise and that part of Rule 3 will be a surplusage for all practical purposes. Proviso to Rule 3 of Order 39 of the Code, attracts the principle, that if a statute requires a thing to be done in a particular manner, it should be done in that manner or not all. This principle was approved and accepted in well-known cases of Taylor v. Taylor', and Nazir Ahmed v. Emperor8. This Court has also expressed the same view in respect of procedural requirement of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act in the case of Ramchandra Keshav Adke v. Govind Joti Chavare9.
As such whenever a court considers it necessary in the facts and circumstances of a particular case to pass an order of injunction without notice to other side, it must record the reasons for doing so and should take into consideration, while passing an order of injunction, all relevant factors, including as to how the object of granting injunction itself shall be defeated if an ex parte order is not passed."
6    (1993) 3 SCC 161, 176
7    (1875) 1 Ch D 426: 45 LJ Ch 373
8    AIR 1936 PC 253(2): 63 IA 372: 37 Cri LJ 897
9    (1975) 1 SCC 915

Supreme Court of India
Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund vs Kartick Das on 20 May, 1994
Equivalent citations: 1994 SCC (4) 225, JT 1994 (3) 654
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